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Tina Tran, a Vietnamese-Canadian of great beauty and charisma, is more than the sum of her parts: former boat person, mother, aesthetician, model, actress, legal assistant, party girl, criminal and now a producer and star in her new independent feature film “Tough Love”. Tran’s infectious, dynamic magnetism will smother you with her power.
She comes to us not only by the governance of humanitarian and compassionate nations, but also through a complexity of conflicts, political turmoil, inhumanity, robbery, racism, abandonment and heart-wrenching loss.
“Tough Love”, a semi-autobiographical feature directed by Toronto’s veteran filmmaker, Frank Caruso translates Tina’s story and unfolds like a Hollywood rags-to-riches tale. Her journey takes us from North Vietnam to a Hong Kong refugee camp and then to Kelowna, B.C. where Tran soon realizes that the so-called American dream is not what it is purported to be. From high jinks on the high seas where 40 “boat people” crammed into a sea vessel escape death when struck by ferocious typhoons to the endurance of surviving exposure, hunger, piracy and lost lives, the film leads us to Tina’s sordid life of crime in Toronto. This is a tale of one fiercely strong woman’s survival in the eye of the storm.
As a result of her many tribulations and eventual safe-haven, Tran founded a non-profit charitable organization, the Great Compassion Relief Society, designed to provide children from all over the world with a better life. Through her Buddhist faith, Tran believes her survival was a gift to enable her to realize her dreams and assist orphaned children in her homeland with food, clothing, education and a loving home.
“Hopefully, I will have the opportunity to expand this to other parts of the world” states Tran. “I want to give back to society which has been so kind to me, by helping needy kids.”
To find out more about Tina Tran and “Tough Love” please visit www.toughlovethemovie.com